At about 11pm this past Sunday night, Jessie Sullivan, the R2 (resident resource -- Olin's version of RA's) came into our suite, asking my suitemates and I to head downstairs immediately to the first floor common lounge to hear an announcement from Rod Crafts, our Dean of Student Life. On a campus that runs on email, we could tell this was something out of the ordinary -- but besides half-serious, mostly facetious speculations, no one really knew what to expect.
We got downstairs in time to catch the tail-end of Rod informing us that there had been a motor-cycle accident in Dover, Mass, that had resulted in the death of one Olin student, sophomore Matt Bowes, and critically injured another, first year student Rachel Karis.
I didn't really know how to respond then, and can't claim to now. I knew Matt, and recognised Rachel, but wasn't particularly close to either of them -- but within a community with 300 students, each person is a presence felt. We heard again on Tuesday that Rachel too had fall prey to her injuries.
We heard about Rachel literally minutes before all the seniors had to put on our corporate faces and head out to meet our SCOPE sponsors and liaisons on Tuesday. Many other students were either in class, between classes or headed to various meetings and commitments. It's a pretty uncomfortable feeling for us here to try to balance appropriately responding to everything that has just happened with maintaining structure and normalcy in our everyday routine. I can't even begin to imagine what this week must be like for the two families.
Official updates on family and campus services for Rachel and Matt are available here. We hope that you will join us in remembering them, and keeping their families in our thoughts.